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ON TOUR with Mapping Memories

The Life Stories of Montreal and Mapping Memories are leading a series of school visits to engage 13-17 year olds around the subjects of refugee experiences, migration, human rights violations, belonging, tolerance, cultural identity, and personal resilience. For an inside view, watch our video On Tour with Mapping Memories. To explore further resources check out Book & DVD.

Youth speakers with refugee experience who have contributed to the Book & DVD will share their personal experiences and initiate dialogue in high school classrooms about what it means to be a refugee in Canada. The tour is organized by the editors of Mapping Memories, Elizabeth Miller, professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University and Michele Luchs, of the Ministry of Education, who are offering training and presentations to teachers around the province.


To bring the youth speakers to your school, please contact us. We ask a fee of $200 per visit (which involves two speakers) but we work on a sliding scale. The money goes directly to the youth involved. The book costs $60 for individuals and $200 for institutions who need public performance rights (there are 20 digital stories and films on the DVD). We have complementary copies for teachers who can write a review of the book. If you make a $100 donation to a scholarship fund that has been set up for involved youth we can send you a book and tax deductible donation receipt. Please contact us for more information.


Tour Materials

Ayanda Dube was 17 when he was forced to leave Zimbabwe and came to Montreal as an unaccompanied youth. Now 27 years old, he is a permanent resident, a student of economics and political science, and an active member of the Canadian Council for Refugees. Ayanda will share his poetic narration about his first few days in Montreal and what it meant to arrive alone with “one piece of luggage and a ton of hope.” He attributes his success largely to the individuals who reached out to him during those first years. His message to students is to not take anything for granted and to get involved.

Leontine Uwababyeyi, an orphan of the Rwandan Genocide, was 19 when she left Rwanda for Montreal. Today she is a full time student of Sociology and Psychology at the University of Montreal who is interested in storytelling and conflict resolution. Leontine narrates her extraordinary story about surviving the Rwandan genocide and about how high school students in Rwanda, who have also lost their biological families, have formed alternative families. Although her story is still difficult to share, Leontine wants other to understand that while you can never forget the past you do grow from difficult times. She now asks everyone she meets to share their story with her.

Stephanie Gasana grew up in Ethiopia sheltered from the knowledge of the Rwandan Genocide, or that her own family had survived it. When she heard about it for the first time at thirteen in her history class, she had many questions. Since then she has been on a quest to probe beneath family silences.
 With her sister Solange as a guide she has used digital storytelling to find out more about herself through her family's journey. Stephanie is now a Communication Studies at Concordia University and her message to students is to ask questions and become curious about your family stories and history.

Tour Objectives

  • • Build understanding of refugee rights and migration in the classroom.
  • • Inspire students to ‘scratch the surface’ of their own ethnic origins and histories.
  • • Make history ‘real’ by connecting personal stories to historical moments.
  • • Introduce students to young adults who have overcome adverse circumstances.
  • • Counter harmful stereotypes to make classrooms welcoming for all students.
  • • Introduce teachers to a new resource, Mapping Memories: Participatory Media, Place-Based Stories & Refugee Youth a book/DVD/website that contains 20 digital stories and a wealth of resources for teachers.

Sample Visit (50 minute class)

  • • Introduction to Mapping Memories
  • •What is a Refugee? PowerPoint
  • • Youth speakers introduce and play their personal digital stories
  • • Closing Message

For more information or to book a visit send us a message or e-mail mappingmemories {at} gmail {dot} com


Winter 2012

January 27th - YMCA, Toronto
February 6th - Beurling High School (thanks to David Abracen & Matona Mavrakis)
February 20th - Marymount Academy (thanks to Maya Doughan)
February 23rd - Royal West Academy (thanks to Katharine Cukier)
February 24th - Westwood High School (thanks to Matrona Mavrakis)
March 5th - CCR Webinar
March 15th - John Rennie High School (thanks to Barbara Dudkoff & Caroline Batani)
March 20th - French Launch
March 22nd - Riverdale High School (thanks to Matona Mavrakis)
March 25th - Leontine presents at Holocaust Museum
May 29th - Collège Charles Lemoyne (merci à Dominique Rochon)


September 29th École Internationale (merci à Annie Girard)
October 3rd ATEQ Pedagogical Day
October 12th Mapping Memories Launch, Concordia University
October 14th Dawson Pedagogical Day
October 20th McGill University, Department of Education
October 24th Fall Fare ELA Conference, Montreal (Liz, Michele)
October 25th CURA Education Panel, Concordia University
November 27th Holocaust Center of Montreal (Liz, Michele)
November 1st Provincial Advisory Council of Teachers of English
November 3rd Holocaust Museum, Ayanda presents
November 4th Lauren Hill Academy (thanks to Andrew Adams & Pelagia Nickoletopoulos)
November 7th McGill University, Department of Education
November 8th, Heritage High School (thanks to Mary Eva)
November 9th, International School (merci à Annie Girard)
November 10th - CTV interview
November 17th - PACC Adult Center, Lester B. Pearson (thanks to Karen Colwell)
November 25th Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers
November 26th Canadian Council of Refugees Conference - 2.5 hour workshop
December 2nd UQAM, Departement de l’éducation
December 13th - Charlemagne Academy, Pierrefonds (merci à Nicolas Mouracade)


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